"In grading a street for the purpose of paving, it was necessary to remove earth which the city had no occasion for, and the street commissioner sold the same to a party who removed and used it. In an action to recover the purchase-price the purchaser defended, claiming that the city did not own the earth, but that it was owned by the adjoining lot-owners..."
Cooley, Thomas M. "Material Taken from Streets in Grading--Rights of Adjoining Lot-Owner." Cent. L.J. 4 (1877): 200–202.